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Opinions of Monday, 23 November 2015

Columnist: Abdulai, Alhaji Alhasan

Reconciliation is needed between contestants in all primary polls

By Alhaji Alhasan Abdulai

The nationwide parliamentary primary elections of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) have recorded casualties that include a handful sitting members of parliament some of whom hold ministerial positions. For example the Minister of Youth and Sports, Dr Mustapha Ahmed who doubles as MP for Ayawaso East and now Ayawaso North has been defeated by a younger and little known Yusi Jaja. Again a new entrant to top level politics Dr Zenator Rawlings has also surprisingly defeated a more experienced politician Nii Armah Ashietey a sitting MP for Clottey Korley constituency in Accra. Besides these a number of sitting MPs have been defeated in the primaries. This means that while some sitting MPs have the chance to once again contest their seats to parliament those defeated would have to pack bag and baggage from parliament in 2017 to give way to new MPs. Though the defeat suffered by the political stalwarts is painful some of the winners and the losers have begin making compromises. Dr Zenator is reported to have extended her hands to those who stood against her in the primaries especially the sitting MP for Clottey Korley constituency. When it became clear that she had won the elections she thanked those who voted for her and called on her competitors to come along to form a team to fight the battle ahead with her in December 2016. Though she is young the step she has taken is good. It would take care of the animosity built between her and her competitors in the run up to the polls. During the campaigns she had supporters of her opponents asking her to stay away from the polls because she is not a credible member of the NDC. She stood her ground against predictions from pollsters and won. All those who won the primaries must follow the footsteps of Zenator by staying away from long jubilations likely to annoy the losers. The winners must call to speak with their competitors even if they fail to call to congratulate them. I know so well that some losing candidates would call to congratulate the winners of the polls. Yes it has happened in Wa Central Constituency when one of those who lost called to congratulate the incumbent MP Alhaji Rashid Pelpuo. That is the way to go not only in NDC but all the political parties for peace and concord to prevail. The casualties in the polls are many for many reasons that include the increase in the number of voters in each constituency thereby making it difficult for them to be influenced easily. Other reasons include the inability of some of the losing MPs to perform their duties adequately as they promised their constituents, apart from doing their duties as MPs . Yet others might have been thrown out just because they have been MPs for far too long. Although some of the contestants have begun working together on their own the leadership of NDC has a duty to follow up with a reconciliation measure to all the constituencies throughout the nation to reconcile the contestants. This way they would be able to get them working together once again for their own and the peace and stability of Ghana.

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